Making Career Decisions from
an Arts Degree
18th December, 2012
John Hannon
Career Development Centre
What’s this session all about?
• Arts, happiness and
career decisions
• How do we spread the
news? Subject, career
and course paths and
progression routes...
• Arts and employability
Career Development Centre NUI Galway
The Value of an Arts Degree
• “All art is quite useless”
Oscar Wilde
“Art is the expression of the profoundest thoughts in the simplest
way”
Albert Einstein
Career Development Centre NUI Galway
What do students want?
Career Development Centre NUI Galway
.....Expectations….from Guidance Counsellors?
Career Development Centre NUI Galway
Geography of Happiness
Green = Happiest > Blue > Purple > Orange > Red = Least Happy;
Grey = Data not available
Believe it or not!
– In the past people didn’t value happiness.
– Instead, they valued virtue and greatness,
which may result in suffering. [We might be
going back that way!]
– Happiness was [is] considered an unworthy
pursuit!
Related Research: How Do We Make Irrational Choices?
• People make decisions based on their current situation.
• People tend to adapt to things around them eventually.
• People tend to remember feelings that they expect to remember, not
actual feelings that they experience.
“Indicators of
intent”
Doer (Realistic)...archaeology, IT
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Archaeology
Information technology
Instructional technology / training
Programmer
Police Officer / Garda
Quality (assurance, control)
Safety
Career Development Centre
Thinker (Investigative)....all subjects! Especially
economics, psychology, maths, soc. and pol.
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Actuary
Computer science
Economist
Finance
Lawyer
Market researcher
Mathematics
• Psychologist
• Psychiatrist
• Statistics
• Sociologist
• Systems analyst
• Journalist
• Physician/Medical school
• Teacher /Lecturer e.g. maths
Career Development Centre
Creator (Artistic)...majority of subjects especially
languages, history
• Actor
• Producer
• Advertising copy writer
• Teacher (e.g. Languages)
• Director
• Technical writer
• Dancer
• Web designer
• Editor
• Writer
• Musician
• Poet
• Museum curator
• Patent agent
Career Development Centre
Helper (Social)...Sociological and Political Studies,
psychology, education
• Advocate
• Guidance counsellor
• Therapist / counsellor
• Care worker
• Education/teacher
• Health promotion officer
• Occupational therapist
• Psychologist
• Social worker, probation
officer
• Theology / religious life
• Social Worker
• Speech-language therapist
Career Development Centre
Persuader (Enterprising) ...Economics, law
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Administration
Business
Communications
Insurance
Investment Banker
Journalism
Law / Politics
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Marketing / Advertising
Management
Management Consultant
Public Health
Publishing
Public relations
Public policy
Retail
Stockbroker
Sales
Career Development Centre
Organiser (Conventional)...economics, mathematics,
languages
• Accountant
• Information officer
• Actuary
• Lexicographer
• Administration
• Librarian
• Banking/Investment banking
• Proofreader
• Business
• Secretary
• Clerk
• Technical writer
• Copy Editing
• Financial analyst
Career Development Centre
NUI Galway BA graduates (and postgraduates) 2011
• Further Study/Training
58.5 (19.1)%
• Seeking Employment
5.3
(9.4)%
• Yr. Out/Not Available Emp.
3.6
(2.8)%
• In Employment
30.6 (67.7)%
Career Development Centre NUI Galway
‘Traditional’ career sectors from Arts...how do we
get this across? [ and go beyond it]
• Public Service and Teaching
• Media / PR / Advertising
• Arts / Culture
• Leisure / Tourism / Travel
• Library / Archives / Information
• Insurance/Marketing/Retailing/HR/Finance
• IT
• Law
The economic factor?
Career Development Centre NUI Galway
Fastest Growing Industries
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Information Technology
Healthcare
Energy Efficiency / Environmental
E-Learning
Microelectronics
Manufacturing Productivity
Composite Materials
Social Networking
Business Services – esp. Multilingual
Telecommunications
Food
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Care of the Elderly
Business & Personal Coaching
Personal Wellbeing
Medical Devices & Technology
Accounting (some aspects more than others)
Digital Media – e.g. -gaming, mobile media,
animation
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Alternative Power Generation
Financial Regulation and Control
Corporate Compliance
Life Sciences
Biotechnology
Ref: Enterprise Ireland - HPSU’s
IDA Ireland – Competence Centres
Career Development Centre NUI Galway
Importance of Arts, Humanities, Business and
Social Science
•Underpin sectors such as finance, business, legal,
communications, cultural, tourist and education and social
services
•Knowledge of foreign languages and understanding of world
cultures can be an asset to any exporting enterprise
•Understanding of consumer and natural behaviours
•Hybrid and blended skills
•Linking with the Natural Sciences
Ursula Halligan,
EGFSN
Career Development Centre NUI Galway
Great Skill Combinations
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Languages and logistics
Languages and marketing/sales
Product knowledge and sales
Finance and quantitative modelling
Law and finance
Statistics and software modelling
Software architecture and business
Web design; animation; programming
Source: National Skills Unit
Career Development Centre NUI Galway
What are employers
looking for??
Career Development Centre NUI Galway
Graduate Recruitment Trends Survey
2012 (gradireland)
• 57.7%
Graduates ‘who can demonstrate core
competences’
• 59.2%
Must have studied specific
degree
• 57.7%
Require a 2.1
• 25.4%
Must have relevant work
experience
Soft skills
Shortfalls in
Hard skills
• Communication
• Motivation
• Analytical skills
• Writing
• Administration + org.
• Managing own learning
• Fluency in foreign
language
• Problem solving
• Basic computer skills
• Confidence
• Leadership
• Independent working
• Project management
• Flexibility
• Numeracy
In Summary: What Can Arts Graduates Offer Employers?
Task/Goal Orientated
Work Experience
Cultural Flexibility
Critical Thinking Skills
Highly Motivated
Planning/Organisational Skills
Communication Skills
Time Management
Organisational Skills
Research Skills
Presentation Skills
Intelligence
Independent Working Skills
Specialised Knowledge
Networking skills
Career Focus….?
Career Development Centre NUI Galway
The ‘Language Divide’
Students tend to focus on:
Employers want to know about:
•Qualifications
•Academic grades
•Subjects/Modules
•Project work
•Theory
•Work experience
•Content
•Skills
•Ideas
Are you aware of the skills you have developed to date?
Can you provide evidence of how these skills were
developed?
(Past achievements as evidence of future potential)
Career Development Centre NUI Galway
Some Career Paths with subjects e.g. Psychological
Studies
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Social Work
Counselling, Guidance and Counselling
Community & Youth Work
Business / Management/HR
IT – e.g. training, systems analysis, management
Media, journalism
Pharmaceutical industry
Research /Administration
Teaching (mainly primary and higher education)
ABA
Retail and marketing
Not to mention the other
subject…and the BA!
Some Career Paths with History
• Heritage, museums, archives
• Teaching
• Research
• Library
• Tourism
• Genealogy
• Media e.g. journalism
Career Development Centre NUI Galway
Languages: two career paths
• Specialist language occupations
– Translation, teaching, interpreting
• Occupations with languages
– e.g. bilingual accounts, market research, international sales,
bilingual customer support, admin. In Euro. Commission,
software localisation, consultancy services, export / trading…..
Career Development Centre NUI Galway
Postgraduate Conversion Programmes
PhD
POSTGRADUATE CONVERSION
PROGRAMME
DEGREE
MASTERS
(TAUGHT/RESEARCH)
Career Development Centre NUI Galway
Seven Categories of Conversion Programmes
Arts &
Social
Sciences
Law
Business
IT
Education
Health/
Therapies
Engineering
Career Development Centre NUI Galway
Arts: General Examples…
• Archaeology, NUI Galway
• Psychology, NUI Galway, UCC, UCD, TCD, DBS
• Journalism, NUI Galway, DCU, DIT, Griffith, Fitzwilliam
Institute
• Planning and Sustainable Development, UCD,UCC, QUB
• Arts Admin./Policy & Practice, NUI Galway, UCD
• Literature and Publishing, NUI Galway
• Digital Media NUI Galway and Multimedia, DCU
Career Development Centre NUI Galway
Business: Examples
• Business (e.g. H Dip Business Studies) NUI Galway, UL
• Accountancy, GMIT, DCU, DIT, UCC
• Marketing & also Advertising, DIT
• Economics (H Dip – NUI Galway
Career Development Centre NUI Galway
IT: Examples
• Software Design & Development, NUI Galway
• Information Systems Management, NUI Galway
• Computer Engineering (need maths) UL
• Computer Science, Letterkenny IT, IT Tralee, UCD
• Information Technology, NUI Galway, NUIM
Career Development Centre NUI Galway
Career Development Centre NUI Galway
Information Overload!
www.
gradireland.com
Career Development Centre NUI Galway
Career Development Centre NUI Galway
How can we convey these key points?
• Most students don’t choose a career path until their final
year.
• Most students worry about being typecast by their
discipline…yet the degree seldom limits options.
• Most students gain new interests during their studies.
• Arts course provide key skills for employers.
Career Development Centre NUI Galway
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Description of Research